(ORDO NEWS) — Apple held the Far Out event, which introduced the next generation iPhone, watch and headphones. Denis Samsonov, publisher of the Open Systems publishing house, tells in a column for Forbes what has become the main novelty of the company, what service Apple gadgets now provide and why they will be bought even in conditions of financial instability.
Apple’s traditional fall presentation took place against a gloomy backdrop of a global decline in smartphone sales. Obvious economic difficulties can be blamed for the slowdown in the market for technological products, if not for interesting historical parallels. During the Great Depression in the United States, movie theaters and sweet makers showed good sales. Movies and chocolates are a way to sweeten reality. There will always be money for them. The problem with gadgets is that they are no longer “candy”. Perhaps, except for Apple gadgets.
Watches and headphones
The most enticing product in this year’s lineup is the Apple Watch Ultra. Year after year, the company is pushing the traditional owners of the watch market, simultaneously adopting their experience and honed centuries of marketing moves.
The Rolex Submariner is not made for submarine captains, and the Omega Seamaster is not made for divers. Both sell stories, the scent of adventure that successful brokers and market analysts lack. With its water resistance and dive computer features, the Apple Watch Ultra is the most capable watch of its kind. I doubt that real divers will abandon professional computers in favor of smart watches. But as a beautiful thing with a brutal design, a beautiful legend and an interesting complication, the Apple Watch Ultra will find its buyer.
From the new generation Air Pods Pro headphones, they expected a change in form factor. That did not happen. The headphones have received surround sound support, and the charger has a strap and a speaker to make it easier to find. All this is very functional and very boring.
Car manufacturers — the main gadgets before the age of smartphones — have a special language for key marketing messages. We will never hear “discount” in the official communications of automakers – only “benefit”. If there are no significant novelties in the model, but the cycle requires updating, they say about the “updated” version. The new, 14th generation iPhone without the Pro index is the classic “updated” version, “facelift”. A processor that was great last year and just fine this year. Screen with “ceramic” protection. What it is remains to be seen. Unchanged form factor.
The most interesting thing about Episode 14 is what it doesn’t have. Apple has ditched physical SIM cards. I am writing this note right after the presentation, when all the questions are already answered. Models 14 and 14 Pro support two eSIMs and do not support physical SIM cards according to published technical specifications. Whether this only applies to models for the US market is still unknown.
Apple, the company that killed the floppy disk and the CD, came for the SIM card. A physical card is a technological atavism, but a convenient atavism. Coming to rest in a European country, we are used to buying a “tourist” SIM card at the airport. The complete rejection of physical cards will give the manufacturer more control over operators, users and gray imports. I don’t think there is anything to be afraid of. In the past, Apple has always been loyal to its customers, regardless of the region of residence and the way the device was purchased. I assume that this policy will continue in the future.
The main novelty of the older model in the line is an oval spot that replaced the branded bangs. The company’s marketers called the oval cutout for the front cameras Dynamic Island, and the designers came up with clever ways to use it so that the dead zone becomes almost invisible: as a screen for pop-up notifications, interface elements, and just decorations. Nice and smart idea. In addition to him, the iPhone 14 Pro promises a magical new 48-megapixel matrix.
Every year Apple manages to teach the iPhone to shoot even better, when the previous quality was more than suitable for everyone. I believe it will work this time as well. But let’s be honest, the main novelty of the iPhone of this generation is an ingeniously designed black hole on the screen.
Economics of disaster
An important feature of all new Apple products is support for catastrophic situations. The smartwatch reacts to falls and car accidents. If the panic button is not pressed, the device will decide that the owner is unwell and will send an SOS signal. Smartphones of the new generation have learned how to send an alarm using satellite communications. If trouble happens to the owner of the device where there is no cellular connection, the smartphone will determine the moment of satellite passage and will be able to send an alarm in the form of a text message with coordinates.
The situations in which a smart watch rescues a tourist lost in the mountains looks completely laboratory. But one cannot but agree with the fact that in society there is a demand for a sense of security. Apple’s new gadgets offer this service as well.
Portrait against the backdrop of recession
The mobile technology industry is cooling down, and the reason for this is not the global financial crisis and pandemic, but the lack of big ideas. Business is eating up concepts that were invented 10-15 years ago. New “big things” are on the technological horizon. We are waiting for a new generation of augmented and virtual reality glasses and helmets, devices for working with the metaverse. There are not even rumors, but confidence that such devices are being developed at Apple. All this is in the future. The question of the current moment is whether the company’s new generation of gadgets is sufficiently “candy” to ensure sales in the face of financial instability. My prediction: there’s still enough sugar in Apple’s new products for consumers to go shopping for this escape route.
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